Farmer’s Wife Fitness!

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Posted by Cloey | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 07-02-2013

The farmer and I recently joined the fitness center at the local high school.  We have talked about doing this for several months.  Most of the time, one of us will bring it up and the other will say, “Yeah, we should do that”,  followed by “Do we have any ice-cream left?”.   I often tell the farmer his blood runs mayonnaise and he doesn’t have to tell me that mine runs chocolate.  It’s bad.  You would think that we wouldn’t have to go to a gym when you live on a working farm.  I thought for sure that I would lose 40 pounds within the first year with all the outside work I would be doing.  There’s feeding cows (farmer does it),  fixing fencing (farmer does it),   carrying large metal objects of one type or another around (farmer does it).  I don’t have any farm labor skills at all.  I do my part, I mow the lawn (sitting on a rider mower), occasionally help fill the feed wheelbarrow with silage for the cows but usually I wimp out after three   or four loads because, well, it’s heavy.  I’m more instrumental with the work INSIDE the house (aren’t we all ladies?).   Still, all the housework doesn’t adequately counteract my love of all things brown and sugary.  So much for the farmer’s wife fitness plan.

So we joined the local fitness center and it’s a real deal!   After insurance reimbursement, we pay $2 a month.  You can’t beat that.  They have all the amenities of a regular fitness center-treadmills, elliptical machines, rowing machine, nautilus equipment, towels, televisions  and sweaty people.    The only missing amenity is no women’s bathroom.  No, you didn’t read that wrong.  There is no bathroom.   Now, there is a door to the boy’s locker room next to the fitness center with stairs that take you down there and it’s quite handy-if you’re a guy.   So where in heck is the girl’s locker room then?  Right across the hall from the fitness center is a large gymnasium.  When not in use,  it’s completely dark.  Think the movie “Carrie” without the prom and pig’s blood.   I’ve been told there is a girl’s locker room door on the other side of that scary gym but, it’s possible the door alarms will sound if I go to use it so I might not want to.  You think?  I don’t know about you but the moment I know that I CAN’T go to the bathroom, is the moment I have to go. Forget about needing a place to change into my farmer’s wife fitness outfit.  So I changed in the boy’s locker room while the farmer stood guard.  I was not driving 3 miles home in 3 degree weather to change into a pair of sweats.   No one saw me and may I say that the boy’s locker room is spacious!

We’ll see what happens with this new endeavor.  We have to go 12 times a month for insurance reimbursement and that is my goal.   I think we can do this!  Will I ever become one of those  annoying people that gush about how much they love the gym and miss exercising if they skip a day?  Probably not.  I’ll be the chubby chick on the treadmill trying to convince herself to stay on just five more minutes.  Probably.

 

Sweet Fancy Moses, it’s Winter!

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Posted by Cloey | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 23-01-2013

It’s been a good while since my last blog post.  Took some time for family stuff and holidays.  Hearing some have missed the blog and that warms my heart to hear.  Currently, that’s the only warm thing around here being it’s  17 below.   I’m sitting here staring out the window pretending it’s sunny and tropical.  I swear the clouds are stuck, it’s so dang cold!  I haven’t left the house in 2 days.  I refuse!  It’s so cold my nostril hairs freeze two seconds after walking out the door.  This is the kind of cold  my family out east thinks we have here ALL the time.  It isn’t.  At least not in the 8 years I’ve been here.  If it were, I don’t think I could manage it.  Atleast I have an automatic car starter.  The farmer had it installed for my birthday 2 years ago.   The last time I pointed my remote starter button  from the warmth of my kitchen window it took the car a good 30 seconds to decide if it was going to start.  I just kept hearing whrrr…whhrrr….whrrr.  If you listened closely enough, I swear I heard it say, “the hell I am, the hell I am” over and over.

So what does one do when one can’t leave the house because it’s artic out there? I’ve been hunkered at the computer drooling at the recipes on Pinterest.  It’s culinary porn.  I can’t actually make any of the recipes because I’m on a diet so  I just stare at them.  They say if you imagine yourself taking bites of the foods you crave, your brain reacts as if you’re actually eating them and the cravings go away.  Doing this  also creates endorphins that give you the feeling of satisfaction and brighter mood.  So far I’ve mentally made love to double-chocolate fudge brownies and a pepperoni pizza with extra cheese.  I feel great emotionally but my stomach is very confused- and hungry.

I know that there are people that really get jazzed about this  weather and are out there right now living it up on their snowmobiles or in their ice-fishing houses on the lake.  God bless you. I don’t understand you but God bless you.   I am not a fan of snow or ice especially  walking on lake ice.  Weebles wobble but they DO fall down.  I assume the ice will crack beneath me and send me into the freezing waters below.   I don’t want to impose on anyone to have to risk their life pulling my plus-size  butt out of the water.  I can never understand how people actually drive their trucks out into the middle of the lake and expect it not to fall in.  Sometimes I see trucks parked outside of a fishing house not 200 feet from an unfrozen area of lake.   It takes a special kind of optimist to think that this a good thing.    The whole idea of sitting in a little heated wooden box for hours trying to catch fish out of a frozen hole holds no interest for me.   I can’t manage to catch fish the entire summer on our boat regardless of where we fish or how long we’re out there so fishing in a box over a hole leads me to believe I’ll be buying my fish at Cub like everybody else.  I have just one question: where do they pee?

 

City Girl on Hurricane Sandy

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Posted by Cloey | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 04-11-2012

Last week, the Farmer casually mentioned during dinner that a neighbor believes he spotted a mountain lion on his property.  I am already on the alert for coyotes and skunk, we are now adding mountain lions to the list of species I try to avoid while walking to my car at 6:30 a.m.  So shortly after dinner, I googled what to do if you are approached by a mountain lion.  I’m thinking scream and run like Forest Gump back into the house but they actually tell you NOT to do that.  You are to raise your hands over your head to appear larger than you really are (not a problem, got that covered) and talk very loud in a very low voice to intimidate the lion.  You also should not shoot the lion as it is an endangered species (as opposed to, say, ME?).  That’s what you SHOULD do.  Here’s what I likely WOULD do:   1) Freeze 2) be mauled by a mountain lion.

But I cannot dwell too much on this issue because there are much bigger issues going on this week.  My beloved homeland of New York (along with other east coast locations) has been devastated by Hurricane Sandy. I am relieved to know that my family members are all safe and accounted for including those that are police officers and firemen.  We all them a big debt of gratitude for risking their lives to save ours everyday.  My sister on Long Island has been calling me to keep me updated and to keep herself from losing her mind.  She has no electricity.  We reminisce about hurricanes of our youth.  ”Gloria” was a doozey.  I remember sitting in the basement listening to the sound of lawn chairs and pool covers tumble through the neighborhood. We had no power for a week.  We used candles and flashlights to make our way during the evenings.  The highlight was being able to eat all the ice cream in the freezer.  No school for a week!  Gloria was, for us young ones, glorious!  Well, for a kid anyway.  I’m sure it was less than for the adults.  They had to worry about things like if our roof would survive, what was covered by insurance doing the storm and if we were ever going to get our lawn chairs back from where they blew three streets over.  The answer: 1) yes 2) not much and 3) not in one piece.

And while I know that New Yorkers are hardy folks who can pull together to help one another in need,  I also know that we can fast become intolerant and irritated with one another.  My sister has been updating me on post-Sandy reality. The lines at open gas stations are literally a mile long. People are panicking that they won’t be able to get to work or fuel their generators.  Fights have broken out.  People’s homes are being robbed when they leave to stay with family members who have power.  This is the part of being a New Yorker that I don’t miss.  If you have an opportunity to donate to the Red Cross,  please do so.  The devastation of Hurricane Sandy is hardest on the elderly and the poor.  If you live in Minnesota, Wells Fargo allows you to donate to Hurricane Sandy relief through their ATM’s and you can donate $10 to the Red Cross by texting 90999 and typing “REDCROSS”.

Thanks.

 

City Girl & Old Man Winter….

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Posted by Cloey | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 14-10-2012

 

It feels like only yesterday that I was watering flower boxes and cursing the mosquitoes but here we are coming up on another winter and holiday season!  Safe to say, I am not ready-again.  Neither for the snow nor the holidays.  Each year, I take down the Christmas tree pledging to do things RIGHT the next year. No more procrastinating until the very last minute.  Next year- holiday cards done and sent by December 15th! Decorations and tree up by December 15th!   And yet, there I am, writing holiday cards and throwing the Christmas tree up on Christmas Eve.  And gift shopping? I can’t count the number of times I’ve run to Walgreen’s at 10 p.m. on Christmas Eve in a panic because nothing else is open and I still have that last person on my list.  What can I possibly get them?  A Pepto-Bismol basket!?

No, this year I am determined.  I’m even trying to convince The Farmer that we need to take our picture for those cute holiday picture cards everyone is sending nowadays.  I’m trying to think of some idea   that really captures the essence of us here on the farm.  Oh, and that makes me look 20 pounds thinner. That something is Photo Shop!  As in, I need to go to Best Buy and buy me some.  The last picture we sent out to family and friends was our wedding photo and it was not good.  “Get married in early fall”, they tell you, “When the weather is beautiful and crisp.”  Oh it was crisp alright-35 degrees and snowing!  There we are standing outside at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum literally freezing to death and trying to smile as if we aren’t coming down with hypothermia.  It was crazy cold and I look like I just came out of an easy bake oven, hunched over like Quasimodo.   Thank you El Nino!

My NY friends and family get a kick out of imagining me in this country farm life.  I admit, I’m the last person I ever thought would end up in rural Minnesota, married to a farmer and spending the holidays helping feed calves in the barn.  And though the days of going to Rockefeller Center to see the giant tree is a thing of the past, I think it’s pretty cool that I get to spend some time in a manger on Christmas Eve. 

Are you ready for old man Winter?

 

 

 

The City Girls Learns a Lesson…

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Posted by Cloey | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 01-10-2012

Some of the best conversations I’ve had lately have been with complete strangers.  Just this past weekend, I was having a coffee at Caribou in downtown Duluth, quietly reading my Kindle, when I heard a person to my left ask how my day was going.  First thought:  What do you want?  Terrible.  There goes the NY cynic.  ”Fine, just fine, and you?”, I answered and we were off.   This very nice older gentleman shared with me that he is a student getting his Associates at a local college. He lives in Grand Marais, Minneosta, deep in the woods and lives the life of Grizzly Adams in his house in the wild.  He is going to go to school so that he is more employable in his field.  He’s 73!  He loves to drive down to Duluth and be among the people. It can be very isolating in his house in the woods with the exception of bears trying to break into his front door.  I told him I know the feeling but instead of woods, I’m surrounded by fields and thankfully there are only barn cats trying to break in, not bears.  What a blog that would be huh? He thought it was wonderful that I came from NY to marry a farmer and live in rural Minnesota.  He promised to read my blog and I hope he meant it.  Meeting him made my day.

Being a native New Yorker, I have a habit of keeping to myself in public.  I may give a smile or a thank you but I’m all business.  See no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil and foremost mind your own damn business. It’s a shame really because minding your own business means that you miss meeting fabulous new people on your daily walk through life.  It’s been a tough road making friends here in rural Minnesota.  In 3 years, the only friends I’ve made have been through work and that’s because they’re forced to be with me 8 hours a day. LOL!    I’m going to make a point of being more friendly and approachable to others and undo some of this city jadedness.  My new goal is to have even the shortest conversation with a stranger once a week.   I’m glad that my friend at Caribou took the opportunity to chat me up, he really inspired me to stop “shutting down” and start looking around for a friendly face or two.

So blog readers,  I thought it would be fun to ask you what you’d like to see more of on this blog or if you have any questions for me that I can answer for you.  It’s your turn to do some of the talking (or writing)!  Don’t be shy!

“More” of the Farmer’s Wife…

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Posted by Cloey | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 22-09-2012

I have a lifelong love/hate relationship with food.  Actually, this is not the case with all food.   I have no strong feelings either way about fruits and vegetables.   One might say I am merely ambivalent about them.  Leave me alone in a room with either one of them and they would still be there when you get back.  It’s been this way as long as I can remember. I wasn’t raised on junk food.  It was quite the opposite.  My mother did not trust us with snack food whatsoever.  I’m not sure if this was a health issue or an economic issue.  Most likely the latter.   If you wanted a snack she would tell you to eat a piece of fruit. That she could trust you with, especially me because I hated fruit. It’s too sweet and doesn’t agree with my stomach. I also know that my mother battled her own weight issues.  She would eat like a bird.  For breakfast,  she would eat a half of toasted pita and a cup of black coffee.  She inherited the fat gene from her mother and she knew she was likely passing it down to us.  She was right. My father’s mother was also, oh, shall we say,  big-boned.  Us kids were double whammied.  Try as you might, you can’t protect your children from junk food forever.  By the time we went to school we were amazed at the assortment of delights in other kids’ lunchboxes.  Family functions were other opportunities for gluttony and, as you can imagine,  I made the most of those occasions.  I had a taste for the carbs, my friends.  By 6th grade, I didn’t like being chubby and I started my first diet.  It was horrible.  “The Farmer’s Diet’ it was called.  No, I didn’t have a premonition of life to come and this diet was actually based on eating farmer’s cheese.  Meat and farmer’s cheese only.  I’m sure it only lasted a day or two.  Then there was the cabbage soup diet.  The Scarsdale Diet.  The Atkins diet.  I would lose 5 pounds and put back 10.  By senior year, I was a regular at Weight Watchers.  Hey, to my credit, I lost 50 pounds just in time for the prom.  I actually kept the weight off for the most part until I was 30.  Not because I learned how to eat in moderation.  I would alternate binge eating and exercising and dieting my brains out.  Thank God I never learned how to make myself throw up.  By the time I hit 30 I was tired.  Tired of devoting my life to diets.  I lost any trust I had of myself with food.  I no longer had the ability to eat when I was hungry and stop when I was full.  I hadn’t had that ability since I entered 5th grade!   I became a compulsive overeater.

So what does that mean?  Well, I’ll tell you.  I use this analogy with people to help them understand.  Let’s take alcohol addiction.  A person can be 1) a non-drinker,  2) a social drinker or 3) an abusive drinker.  Non-drinkers can stay non-drinkers or can become social drinkers and even become addictive drinkers. Social drinkers can go up to addictive drinkers or down to non-drinkers. Wait for it! Abusive/addictive drinkers can ONLY become non-drinkers.  Once you have  reached the level of an abusive drinker (or alcoholic)  you cannot go back  down to being a social drinker again.  The wheel cannot be reinvented.  Oh, believe me,  people try.  They fool themselves into thinking they can handle one or two drinks and stop.  And maybe they can, one or two times or ten times but inevitabily they resume the abusive drinking pattern.  It’s the same concept with food addiction.  Once you engage in distorted eating (or eating disordered) behavior for a good length of time,  that’s home base.   To further complicate the situation, you MUST become a “social” eater because you cannot become a non-eater.  Not an option.  That’s why 96% of people regain their lost weight when they finish a diet.  We lose the weight and feel like a superstar and forget we aren’t “normal” eaters just because we look different.  It’s easy to trick ourselves into believing that we regained the NORMAL EATING CHIP!  Until we realize that we didn’t.  Welcome back to Weight Watchers.  Hello, Lane Bryant.  God bless the 4% that get it right for the rest of their lives.  I always wanted to be you.  I’m still trying!

So my lesson for today (and I do have one) is to encourage compassion.  I promise to be compassionate with perfect people if perfect people can cultivate some compassion for me and others that struggle with addictive behaviors.  If you don’t have addiction issues, just be happy and glad.  Don’t assume you know everything about the person and their weakness.  I for one think the world would be enormously more happy if we judged less and loved more.  And, if by chance you come across someone with “more to love”,   remember that it’s the one addictive behavior that can’t be hidden from the world.  There are many that are – alcoholism, nicotine addiction, sexual addiction, gambling addiction, drug addiction, compulsive spending and even people addicted to chaos.  I know a few of those people!  Those people need compassion too.  Somebody really smart once said, “Let he without sin, cast the first stone.”   Amen!  Nuff preaching for today. ;)

 

Unmarked Vans in Rural Minnesota!

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Posted by Cloey | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 10-09-2012

Last Sunday,  the farmer and I were enjoying a movie marathon on Netflix when the doorbell rang.  The farmer answered the door as I was laying on our 7 foot beanbag chair and could not get up without serious effort and a 1-2-3 count.  I could hear everything, however, and I immediately realized that it was someone trying to sell us something.  Or was it?  He started the typical well-rehearsed and eager spiel and stopped just long enough to hand my husband something to hold while he went back to his van to get something.  “Who is this guy?” I called out to the farmer.  “I have no idea but I think he’s selling something.”, he called back.  “Well, what does the van say?”,  I countered.  “It’s a plain white van with a bunch of guys in it.”, he replied.  A plain white van with a bunch of guys in it?  Where I come from, that’s called a heist!  I hurrumphed myself out of that bean bag chair like a chubby ninja and grabbed my cell phone.

As it turned out,  the salesman returned with a Kirby vacuum system that we had absolutely no interest in and, deflated as he was, we weren’t going to be talked into.  Bless his heart for trying to make a living.  Still, I couldn’t shake the feeling that this might not have been salesmen.  One, it’s Sunday.  Two,  you shouldn’t approach someone’s home in a unmarked van full of men.  Three, I just bought a vacuum at Walmarts the week before.  Of course, had it been a full-scale heist they would have quickly realized that the only thing we have to offer is a John Deere cuckoo clock and a 7 foot bean bag chair.

Maybe I overreact.  There are alot of ways I still hold on to my jaded NY ways.  Strangers who initiate  conversations just a tad too cheery get my guard up.  I immediately think, “What’s your angle?”  People in Minnesota are so friendly, especially in rural Minnesota.  Chit-chat is a common social norm.  People talk to you all the time just because.  Cashiers and people you pass on the street.  Just the other day I had two conversations just walking through a parking lot about how nice the weather was and gee, do you think we’ll get any rain soon?  That’s a big reason why I love living here.  Back on Long Island,  you’re lucky if a cashier even says thank you.  And if they do, more than not it’s with no affect and dead eyes.  Imagine “Ben Stein’s” monotone.  It isn’t right but you just get used to it.

So, all in all,  there was no in-home invasion.  We didn’t buy the vacuum and the van full of guys turned out to be Kirby salesmen on a training mission.  While I understand that Kirby doesn’t mark the vans for a reason, i.e, “Honey, don’t answer the door, it’s a bunch of those annoying Kirby vacuum salespeople!”,  they’re lucky I didn’t get into the John Deere safe in the basement and pull out a shotgun.  Not that I know how to shoot it.  Or open the safe.  Then again we do have a WII gun for hunting games.  I can shoot that.  Take that, you silly salesman!

City Girl in the Fall

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Posted by Cloey | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 05-09-2012

Fall is my favorite time of year.  Christmas-meh.  Easter-meh.   Fall is fabulous!  Pretty leaves,  sweatshirt weather and FREE CANDY!  I love everything about the Fall.  My favorite holiday is Halloween (can you tell?).  The idea of having a holiday based on walking door to door and getting free chocolate makes me proud to be an American.  I remember walking down the streets of our neighborhood in NY dressed up as a hobo (my mom was a little lazy in the costume department) armed with a pillowcase and a smile.  If you managed to make the rounds without getting shaving creamed by the neighborhood juvenile delinquents you were having a great day!  I think Halloween should be for everyone and not just kids.  Maybe in addition to getting “tricks or treats” at someone’s door you could share a shot of tequila or a small glass of wine to be friendly.  No driving of course!   What a wonderful way to get to know your neighbors.

I also enjoy the Fall because I can camoflauge the 5 pounds I gained during the fairs I attended eating bio-hazards on a stick.  Why just at the state fair alone I ate cereal killer ice-cream (Co-Co Puff Flavor),  Kettle Korn,  Jalapeno Poppers, Fudge Puppies (Reese’s Flavored) and about a gallon of lemonade.  I was sure a trip on the skyride would end in disaster as the farmer and I likely over-exceeded the weight limit. Imagine one minute you’re gliding 200 feet int the air and the next your crashing down upon unsuspecting walkers underneath.  I might be dead but I would still feel guilty!

The only thing I’m not looking forward to this Fall is the start of football.  No matter how I try I just can’t seem to get an interest.  I do however appreciate a good tailgate or football party.  I may not know what’s going on but it’s infinitely more interesting after 5 bud lights and some nachos.  Speaking of sports, the farmer is taking my dad to a Twins game at the end of the month for his father’s day present.  The farmer is a Twins fan and my dad is a die-hard Yankee fan.   The farmer bought a new Twins shirt and I know my dad has about 23 Yankee shirts and baseball hats.  He even has a Yankee gnome in the front yard (father’s day present 2009).  Hopefully there will be no fly fouls in their general area as I fear they may push the other over the side of the stands to catch the ball. 

I am hopeful that we will finally have a trick or treater on Halloween.  Living on a 400 acre farm in the middle of nowhere can be a deterrent.  I suppose I shall have to offer a reasonable incentive to lure the children.  Wait, that didn’t sound good.  Entice, not lure.  Entice!  Perhaps I will purchase King-sized candy bars instead of the little bitty snack size bars I usually purchase.  Think of all the time I’ll save from having to unwrap those little buggers in front of the t.v. at 9 p.m.  :)

The City Girl & The State Fair

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Posted by Cloey | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 30-08-2012

The farmer loves the state fair.  We go every year.  Every year, I complain that I am hot,  tired, my feet hurt and I can’t believe we are paying $7 for a bad corn dog.  I inform him as we leave that we will not be going next year.  We are going on Friday.  I am contemplating feigning a burst appendix.  The thought of walking among 300,000 people with sweat dripping from my chins is more than I can bear.  My mother has a hover-round she doesn’t use.  It’s so tempting.  I picture myself cruising along on my hover-round with a battery-operated fan duct taped to the handlebars.  I’m usually a very mild mannered person but when I am hot and people do not walk properly in front of me I become enraged.  It’s usually moms with strollers.  They stop as if there aren’t 240 people waiting behind them.  We literally form a chain of cabooses knocking into each other as mom stops and contemplates if she should get an icee or a lemonade and oh, should we see the lumberjack show? May I suggest some Concerta for your Attention-Deficit Disorder?

My husband loves the lumberjack show.  I do too but not for the same reason he does.  You don’t have to tell me twice to sit and watch grown men with muscles compete against each other with chainsaws.  There is a lot of bending.  My husband likes the food concession they have next door.  He fell in love with their wings several years ago.  He couldn’t believe it when we came back the following year and they took them off the menu. I thought he would need grief counseling.  Three years now we still walk 10 blocks to the lumberjack show.  It’s the same show every year.  Jokes and everything. Still, he is holding out that the wings will make a reappearance.    They were his favorite thing at the fair.  My favorite thing is the sight of my car as I limp out of the fairgrounds.

I may be from NY but I get anxious in crowds.  I do appreciate, however, that Minnesotans have this massive gathering once a year with very little mayhem or negativity.   I don’t even think there is a state fair in NY.  If there is,  they probably don’t advertise, hoping nobody shows up.   You really don’t want too many New Yorkers in the same place at the same time.  People would be shooting each other over the last bag of mini-donuts.   That and mugging each other because you have to bring a lot of money to the fair.  I can’t imagine having children and bringing them to the fair.  You’d have to cash out your 401k.  I can just imagine going to the state fair with my parents as a kid.  My mother’s favorite line was “We’re not buying that here, we can make the same thing at home!”  My mother once tried to convince us that we were eating the exact replica of a McDonald’s Big Mac for dinner.  She kept saying, “It’s the same sauce, the same SAUCE!”   I don’t blame her.  My parents took us to the circus once.  I can honestly say that I remember going but I only remember what I ate.  My father kept looking at me saying, “My God, you really can’t still be hungry,  you just ate (fill in the blank)!”

So I will be going to the fair again this year.  I will follow the farmer as we visit all the animal barns,  the antique tractors,  the lumberjack show,  the 20- people- deep over-priced food lines and pull up my big girl panties and deal with it.  I will also put off going to the bathroom as long as I humanly can until such time that I will start to get pains and finally force myself to use the bathroom, a place that smells so bad I think that I can hold my breathe the entire time I am there but instead start dry heaving because I can’t stop thinking that I am going to get herpes from the 14,000 other people that were in the same stall before me.  Ah, the Great American Get-Together…….

 

 

Cruising with The City Girl

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Posted by Cloey | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 27-08-2012

Sundays would be my favorite day of the week if I didn’t think too much about the work week looming.  What will I make for weeknight dinners?  What will I bring for lunch?  Come to think of it, I’m alittle focused on food. LOL!  I’m also thinking about the commute.  Forty-five minutes each way is an additional hour and a half a day added to my 10 hour workday.  Don’t cry for me just yet Argentina, I work a 4-day week with Friday’s off.  Friday is my favorite day of the week actually.  So are Saturdays.

NY commuting is so much different than Minnesota commuting.  For 3 years I woke up at 5 a.m. to catch a train from Sayville, Long Island to Penn Station.  Then the subway to downtown Manhattan.  All in all, a 2 hour commute each way.  It was torture.  If the train was on time, which was rare, there were no seats.  Sometimes we’d get stuck in between stations for a half hour or more.  Most nights I didn’t get home until 7:30 pm.  And I wonder why I started going gray at 27.  My father did the same commute for 35 years.  He started with hair and ended bald. LOL.  We only had one car growing up and my mom will bring my dad to the train station at 5:30 a.m. and pick him back up at 7:30 p.m.  35 years.  Now wonder dad was cranky during the week and much more approachable on Saturday mornings.  That’s a sacrifice for your family if ever there was one.

Traveling one long straight country road to work gets pretty monotonous.  I used to listen exclusively to the radio but stations are either country or christian and I get bored easily.  Let’s face it, I’m either going to get saved or start crying over losing my man, dog or truck.    I’ve listened to books on tape but there’s only so many in our library.  In fact, I’m not really sure why they call it a library since it’s more like a shelf.  When your book is overdue, the librarian comes to your house and demands it back. Just kidding. ;)   Most days it’s just me,  the corn and hay fields and an occasional house.  I have had a few adventures.  Last winter,  I helped a young lady who lost control of her car and landed upside in the ditch.  She was unharmed but freaking out that she was driving her parents’ car. I assured her that the car was much less important than she was.  I’ve narrowingly escaped hitting more than a few deer and a coyote or two.  Unfortunately,  one pheasant wasn’t as lucky.  I thought, maybe, just maybe, it skittled past me before impact but the large plume of feathers flying up over the dashboard and a thud told me otherwise.  I wouldn’t get out of the car until the farmer checked to make sure it wasn’t still hanging out of my grilln

My latest idea is to listen to foreign language CD’s.   Since there is an increasing Spanish population in our area,  it would be worthwhile and impress the staff at El Tapatio when ordering my favorite chimichangas.  Then again I think I might learn whatever they speak at the nail place I go to.  They always seem to be laughing and gossiping and my paranoia is telling me it’s about my ugly feet.  Wouldn’t it be awesome to break out in Vietnamese and freak them out?!.  You know they wouldn’t be expecting THAT.  In any event, the more bored I get the faster I seem to be driving.  I’ve been pulled over 3 times but I’ve not yet been given a ticket, just warnings.  I’d like to think it’s my beauty and cleavage that is getting me out of these tickets but I think it’s because I actually agree with the officer that I’ve been speeding and that I have absolutely no excuse but truly feel ashamed at myself.  I think they appreciate my honesty.

I can honestly say that I haven’t had much in the way of car trouble.  Then again, I will now, dangit.  The farmer is quick to remind me that oil changes are every 3,000 miles not 30,000 miles.  He also checks my tires and puts in windshield wiper fluid.  The bugs are so big here that after one day of driving back and forth, my windshield looks like one big bullseye.  As a matter of fact, there are so many grasshoppers riding my hood and windshield in the morning, I would swear they are having their own 2012 Olympics with my car as the surf board.  One especially hardy fellow made it 4 miles before he finally jumped off.  I have to wonder if he wasn’t just joyriding but leaving town for better options.  Ride free little grasshopper, ride free!

Well, I’m off to scout ebay for some language CD’s.  If you see a redhead clocking 5 miles above the speed limit and talking to herself a mile a minute, wave and say “ola!”